IT IS assumed in Brussels that, though he referred to Catalonia, the opinion of Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, would also apply to Scotland – a nation with 1,000 years of history, which, as part of the UK, has been a member first of the European Economic Community and then the European Union for over 40 years, or 73 per cent of the EEC/EU’s life – if Scotland voted to leave the UK.
According to weekend reports, Mr Van Rompuy asserts that “a new independent state would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country, there is no “fast-track” and it would have to apply to rejoin using “the known accession procedures”.
I neither wish Scotland to leave the UK, nor am I convinced if we do, that we should rejoin the EU. But I recall that the former East Germany (established more than eight years before the EEC came into being) was “fast-tracked” into EEC membership with minimal, if any debate, and without the delaying factors imposed on other former Iron Curtain nations, as soon as it joined West Germany in October 1990 to form the new state Germany – which should surely have been classed a “third country” and been required to join (not “rejoin”) the EU using the same “known accession procedures”.
St Andrews, Fife